The cost of shipping containers fluctuates between $500 to $5,000. We’ll tell you just how much you should pay for containers of different types & sizes. Want an expert consultation on container costs? Learn how 1,700 businesses are getting container prices in 2,500+ locations daily.

In our rapidly changing world, shipping containers have evolved beyond their original use of transportation. They’re now utilized for various purposes, from innovative housing solutions to personalized storage units. 

Yet, container prices remain highly volatile. Influenced by broader economic trends, disruptions in the shipping sector, and shifts in demand, these prices directly impact business expenses. Whether you’re in shipping, modification, storage, or transportation, understanding container costs is paramount.

To stay ahead, it’s crucial to monitor these fluctuations closely. 

That’s why we offer a solution. Through a quick, free call, we can address your pressing questions: How much does a shipping container cost? And more importantly, how can you minimize these expenses? Book your free call today. 

For real-time insights, utilize our public search tool below. Simply input your location and container type to access the latest offers from over 2500 locations on our online container trading marketplace. Stay informed and make informed decisions with our comprehensive container cost data.

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            How much does a shipping container cost?

            In general, a new 20ft dry container is available for purchase between $1,000 and $3,500 anywhere in the world. The container cost for a new 40ft dry container is usually between $1,500 and $4,000. If you’re looking for a new 40ft HC dry container, expect to pay between $2,000 and $6,000. 

            Please keep in mind that these are average cost ranges observed for new and one-trip shipping containers. Generally, the cost of a used shipping container is lower than that of a new one because over time, containers depreciate in condition, value, and consequently, cost.

            Let’s understand this by looking at the prices for varying grades of used shipping containers.

            New and used shipping containers stacked in a container depot

            How much does a used shipping container cost?

            A cargo-worthy 20ft dry container can be purchased between $500 to $3,000. The cost for a cargo-worthy second-hand 40ft dry container is usually around $1,000 to $3,500. If you’re looking for a cargo-worthy 40ft HC container, expect to pay between $1,500 to $4,000. 

            The container condition is a key factor in determining its price. Generally, the older the container, the lower the cost. Despite their age, there is a robust market for older shipping containers as they provide substantial savings often without a significant compromise in quality. You can easily find a used shipping container under $1,000 in good condition on our container marketplace. 

            Before you finalize your purchase, it’s crucial to understand the grading system used to classify used containers. These grades reflect the overall condition of the container and can help you make an informed choice:

            Cargo-worthy (CW)

            A cargo-worthy container is available to purchase between $500 to $4,000. If you’re looking for sturdy, structurally sound, wind and waterproof containers but have a limited budget, opt for CW containers. They are usually 5 to 15 years old and may have corrosion and dents. They are also fit for intermodal shipping. 

            Wind and Watertight (WWT)

            A WWT container can be easily purchased between $500 to $3,000. A container is WWT if it’s wind and watertight and elements can’t penetrate through. They are the best and most affordable option for on-site storage, protecting goods from all external elements. They are often older than 10-15 years with obvious signs of wear and tear, corrosion, and scratches on the container body.

            As-is 

            An As-is container usually costs between $800 to $2,000. These containers are the lowest quality containers sold in the market without any refurbishments.  They are ideal for scrap, container parts, container repurposing, and temporary storage solutions.

            Shipping container prices can vary significantly by region. Whether you’re in a major port city or a more remote area, finding competitive shipping containers for sale can greatly impact your costs.

            Our platform provides a comprehensive overview of regional price differences, helping you find the most affordable options available. Check container price now.

            Factors to Consider Before Buying Shipping Containers

            Understanding all the different options and factors is key to making an informed choice when purchasing any shipping container. The price of shipping containers can vary depending on a variety of different factors such as:

            • Container condition 
            • Container Size
            • Container Type 
            • Location

            Let’s look at some container factors in detail.

            Container Size

            Another biggest factor influencing container costs is the size of shipping containers. Shipping container sizes and prices are proportional to each other. So, if you have been looking to know how much is a 40 foot shipping container? Then, the answer is — more expensive than a 20 foot storage container. But cheaper than two 20ft containers.

            How much does a 20ft shipping container cost? 

            The 20ft shipping container costs between $500 to $3,500. With its robust and lightweight construction, these stackable containers are easy to handle, perfect for portable storage solutions. These containers are the smallest size available fit for intermodal transportation.

            20ft standard container

            How much does a 40ft shipping container cost?

            The 40 foot shipping container costs between $1,000 to $4,000. The 40ft container is often a good investment, as it’s usually only around 20-30% more than the 20ft container but offers double the storage capacity. But please note that 40ft shipping containers will require more storage room. So, if you’re short on land space, it’s better to buy two stackable 20ft storage containers.

            40ft standard container

            Want to see the exact prices for 10ft, 20ft, 40ft, 40ft HC and 53 ft HC containers? Click here to get the prices in your location.

            When considering the right container size for you, ask yourself about your required storage volume, available space for container storage, and your budget.

            The above-listed price will vary over time and location. Since these containers are bang for your buck, you should keep a close eye on the market to get the right price for these popular containers. Learn how exactly you can do that.

            Stay one step ahead and up to date

            Join our thriving community to receive valuable tips, trends, and industry news straight to your inbox.

            Types of Containers

            Container type is another important factor impacting container costs. If you use a flat rack container for out-of-gauge shipments or a tunnel container at a construction site, you’ll know how managing costs of special containers is not easy. 

            Special containers are significantly more expensive than standard dry containers because of their specialized design, construction, and features. Plus, the cost of shipping container modification like adding doors, vents, ventilation units to your standard units will also drive up the price of container units.

            Let’s look at the price of special containers.

            Reefer

            Reefer containers are special containers with built-in refrigeration. These containers are designed to store and transport temperature-sensitive, perishable and frozen goods. You can buy a used reefer container between $5,000 to $9,500. A new reefer is very expensive and can cost you between $7,500 to $17,000. 

            Flat Rack

            Flat rack containers only have walls on their shorter ends. They are used to transport bulky and oddly shaped goods that need to be loaded from the top or sides. You can buy a used flat rack container between $1,500 to $4,000. A new flat rack can be purchased between $4,500 to $9,000. 

            Open Top

            Open top containers have no top, with the roof being covered with a detachable tarpaulin sheet instead. They are used to carry heavy loads that can be only loaded from the top using a crane or forklift. You can purchase a used open top container between $1,500 to $5,000. A new open top container is more expensive, available to purchase between $4,000 to $7,000. 

            Double Door

            Double door container, also known as tunnel container, is a container with doors on both the shorter ends of the container. They are used as makeshift tunnels on construction sites, self-storage for farmhouses and private businesses and to ship vehicles. You can purchase a used double door container between $1,600 to $4,000. A new double door can be purchased between $2,000 to $4,000.

            All shipping container types

            Where to buy shipping containers

            If you are often wondering ‘Where can I buy a shipping container’, then look no further. 1,700 companies trust our container trading marketplace to sell and buy shipping containers globally. Whether you’re looking for a high cube shipping container for sale or a specialized reefer container for sale, you can easily get good quality containers at wholesale prices.

            Let’s learn how to buy a shipping container the smart way. 

            Step 1: Decide on your criteria

            Before you start searching for deals, make sure you know exactly what container types and dimensions you want. Once decided, head over to our container trading platform and submit your requirements, including type, size, condition, and location.

            Step 2: Browse 100,000+ container offers

            You’ll then receive multiple offers matching your requirements in one dashboard. Browse and compare the offers, including the prices and choose the one that suits your budget the best. With prices stated upfront on our marketplace, you can buy in bulk or use our listings as live inventory.

            Find shipping container cost on container trading marketplace

            Step 3: Finalize a deal directly with the supplier

            When you’ve narrowed down on an offer, chat with the supplier directly to negotiate the price. To negotiate better, you can get real-time container prices from xChange Insights. When buying shipping containers, you have to be sure of the deal. Use this opportunity to finalize all the terms of the deal.

            Step 4: Make secure payments on the platform 

            Last but not least, you’ll need to make the payment. This is the part that might make you the most nervous but don’t worry. We give buyers a 7-day window to inspect the containers. If you are not satisfied, you’ll get your money back. Since we act as payment intermediaries, we also ensure that sellers get 100% safe payment on successful purchase.

            Plus, if you have any doubts or concerns, our support team is always happy to help you out at each step of the process.

            Let’s hear what Christian Vostoupal, founder and managing director of Versibox, a container trading company, has to say about xChange: 

            “Before using xChange, I needed to consult several companies myself to find a container. But even if I found some potential partners, there were issues in handling the payments. What I like most is the practicality and speed. And having xChange inter-mediating the payments is also helpful. Because then I know that I will pay and receive the container, and if not, I can rely on xChange to help me with it.”

            Want to see this live? Get a free demo today to see all these benefits in action.

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            How much does it cost to move a shipping container?

            The cost to move a shipping container depends on the distance, size of the container, and  mode of transportation. It can cost you anywhere from $500 to $5,000 to move a container locally and $5,000 to over $10,000 to move internationally. Please remember that these are just rough estimates and the actual costs vary case to case. 

            Cost to move a shipping container to your property

            It can cost you $500 to $1,000 to move your container locally within the city. The shipping container delivery costs will ultimately depend on how far your destination is from the depot or the port. If your delivery destination is closer to the depot, it’ll be relatively cheaper for you to use a shipping container truck to move than it would be to a landlocked destination. 

            The biggest cost incurred in the moving process is hiring a flatbed truck. According to DAT Trendline, the average spot rate for flatbed trucks is $2.50 per mile in the US. This may vary depending on the overall shipping container weight. But if you have a pickup truck, you can even move the container yourself. Read our guide on how to move a shipping container for more details. 

            Cost to move a shipping container across cities 

            It can cost you between $2,000 to $5,000 to move your container from one city to another, ultimately depending on the distance. For routes with higher mileage, the trucking freight rate per mile decreases but it can add up to increase your overall shipping container delivery costs. 

            For long-distance container hauls, it’s best to opt for rail freight over trucks. Rail shipping offers a lower cost-per-ton-mile and can move more containers compared to trucks. It costs roughly $0.196 per ton- mile to ship your container via rail shipping. This may vary depending on the size and weight of your container. 

            Rail freight to move containers across citiesPlease remember that these are estimates. For accurate quotes, please ensure you’re consulting your container freight broker to understand the best moving option for you. 

            How much does it cost to move a shipping container overseas

            It can cost you between $5,000 to over $10,000 to move your containers overseas. Using air or ocean freight to move containers internationally is expensive and complex, involving multiple modes of transportation. Plus, you’ll have to bear extra container charges such as custom duty, terminal handling charges, container storage charges, peak season surcharges and more. 

            The biggest cost incurred would be the freight rates. According to Freightos’ Global Container Freight Index, the ocean freight rate to move 40ft shipping containers from China or East Asia to North America’s West Coast is $2,353, whereas the return trip costs significantly less, at just $368.

            Overseas container shippingFor accurate pricing, it’s best to seek out a container freight broker or a freight forwarder who can provide a detailed quote covering all associated costs.

            For efficient and reliable service, consider working with one of these vetted freight forwarders:

            Cost to build shipping container home

            The cost to build a shipping container home is around $150 to $350 per square foot depending on the container size and extent of modifications required. However, if multiple containers are used, costs can soar to over $100,000. It’s essential to always consult your local contractor to assess design, layout, permits, modifications, and overall construction costs accurately. 

            Permit fees 

            Before embarking on any construction project involving shipping containers, you’ll first need to get a permit from your local zoning authorities. Permit costs vary significantly based on location, with each state and city having its own regulations. For example, in San Diego, California, permit costs for constructing buildings using cargo containers can be complex and require careful consideration.

            Site Preparation fees 

            Due to the weight of shipping containers, thorough site preparation is necessary to prevent tilting or sinking. This preparation includes selecting a suitable location, clearing and leveling the ground, and establishing a solid foundation using materials like concrete or gravel. Additional expenses may include road construction for access and security fencing. Depending on the scope of work, it can cost you $200 to more than $1,500 for site preparation. 

            Shipping container modification fees

            After preparing the site, modifications are needed to make the structure habitable. These modifications may involve adding insulation, electricity, plumbing, flooring, and structural features such as windows, doors, and vents. It’s essential to work with an experienced and licensed contractor to ensure shipping container modifications are done correctly. Be sure to obtain a comprehensive quote for these modifications upfront to avoid any surprises during the construction process.

            By carefully considering permit fees, site preparation costs, and shipping container modification expenses, you can better plan and budget for the construction of your shipping container home.

            Shipping container home

            Get wholesale shipping container price at 0% commission

            At Container xChange, we understand that minimizing sourcing costs is not just smart business—it’s essential. That’s why we’re here to help.

            Our online container trading marketplace offers a seamless platform to buy and sell shipping containers in over 2,500 locations worldwide. 

            What sets us apart? We provide negotiable and wholesale prices without any brokerage fees. When you input your container requirements, you’ll receive a list of matching offers from our vetted suppliers and wholesalers. Take control of your sourcing process by directly contacting sellers through our platform to negotiate prices that fit your budget. 

            And here’s the best part: we don’t charge any commission on these deals!

            But that’s not all. With Container xChange, you’ll benefit from:

            • 100% transparency on shipping container pricing
            • Access to 100,000+ containers in various conditions, types, and sizes
            • A network of 1,700 vetted partners with comprehensive background checks
            • Digital infrastructure enabling trades in 2,500+ locations
            • Secure payment handling for peace of mind
            • 24/5 dedicated customer support via messaging, calls, and email

            Many of our members are seizing opportunities to expand internationally without the need for extensive business development efforts. Just ask James Grunky from Grunsky Trading, who expanded borders and now conducts 95% of his operations through our platform:

            “Container xChange has been a massive help in finding containers all over the world. Not only can I locate them, but the flexibility to move or trade them globally is amazing.”

            Ready to secure containers at the best prices? Sign up for a free demo with one of our friendly experts today. Competitive container sourcing is just a click away.

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            Shipping container cost: Common FAQs

            What is the cost of a 40ft shipping container?

            The cost of a 40ft container will depend on the location, current supply and demand, and the condition of the box. In the US, you’re looking at around US $1,848 for a cargo-worthy container, and in India around $1,536.

            How much does a shipping container cost?

            The cost of a container will completely depend on the size and condition you’re looking for. For a standard cargo-worthy 20ft box, you’re looking at an average price of around $1,120 and for a 40ft container, around $1,848.

            What is the price of a 20ft container?

            The average price for a cargo-worthy 20ft container in the US is $1,120. In China it will cost $1,200 and in Europe it will cost around $900. The prices vary from one location to another.

            What is the size of a standard shipping container?

            The two most common sizes are the 20ft and the 40ft containers. The 20ft container is 5.9m / 19.4ft in length, 2.3m / 7.8ft in internal width and 2.3m / 7.9ft in height. The 40ft container is 12m / 39.5ft in length, 2.4m / 7.9ft in internal width and 2.3m / 7.9ft in height.